Cashel travelled to Cork on Sunday to take on Dolphin in the Munster Junior Cup and came away with a good win in a game that was very competitive for 60 minutes before the superior fitness of the Cashel players helped them score five tries in the final 20 minutes.
Cashel fielded their strongest second team in a long time as a good number of the senior squad were eligible as they had not played too many first team games. A feature of the day was the return to the fray of “former all time great” Barry Moloney who travelled when other more youthful players disappointingly did not make themselves available - old soldiers never die.
After 10 minutes a clever kick to the corner by Conor Quinlan was chased and caught by Pat O’Connor and he scored in the corner. It was a bruising battle up front but the Crosse brothers, Michael and Brendan, Fionn McSwiney and Kieran Murphy were on fire and were carrying ball deep into Dolphin territory. On 31 minutes Cashel were awarded a penalty on the 10 yard line. Kieran Murphy took a quick tap and beat a number of tackles to score a fine try.
From the kick off Cashel gained possession, the ball went through the hands and Ross Mullane worked hard from the 22 to score a good try. Unfortunately Cashel did not have a kicker and the 3 conversions were missed. Three minutes before half time a Cashel player was given a yellow card and this put pressure on to pack but they stuck manfully to the task. Half Time score, 15-0.
Dolphin came out after half time and went on the offensive and scored a converted try. The next score was going to be vital and it went Cashel’s way. Kieran Murphy picked from the back of a scrum and made good ground, the forwards drove on and Cormac O’Donnell dived over for an excellent try. This took the wind out of the Dolphin sails and the Cashel pack took a vice like grip on the game.
On 65 minutes Aidan Barron sniped over for a try which Conor Quinlan converted. From there to the end Brendan Crosse, Andrew Wallace and Fionn McSwiney scored tries to bring the final score to 42-7.
It was very much a team effort from Cashel.
Front rows Cormac O’Donnell, Tommy Flynn and Kieran Sweeney were outstanding. Hooker Tommy Flynn hit the lineout every time Brendan Crosse (A UCD rower of note) and Fergal McCormac were a powerhouse in the second row and the huge back row of Michael Crosse, Fionn McSwiney and Kieran Murphy were outstanding.
CROSSE BROTHERS LIKE A PAIR OF JCBs
The Crosse brothers were like a pair of JCBs at ruck time.
The Aidan Barron/Conor Quinlan partnership at half back was very effective and the centres Jack Ryan, until injured, and converted scrum half Michael Hickey were excellent.
The back three of captain Michael O’Connor, Patrick O’Connor and Andy Kelleher contributed in no small way. Ross Mullane replaced the injured Jack Ryan and scored a fine try.
Barry Moloney came on for 20 minutes and steadied the scrum with his power and experience. Andrew Wallace took his try well and when Shane Murphy came on with 10 minutes to go he was heavily involved to the last two tries.
With two wins in this competition Cashel are now in the top 16 with a difficult assignment next Sunday in Cashel with Muskerry.